Community groups supporting district’s digital transformation

Volunteers spend afternoon at Milby HS learning more about the HUB

Houston community members and local businesses are supporting PowerUp, the district’s effort to digitally transform teaching and learning in the classroom. Recently a group of volunteers spent the afternoon side-by-side with teachers at Milby High School learning more about the HUB, the district’s new online teaching and learning platform.

HISD Instructional Technology Program Specialist Diana Bidulescu came up with the idea of having a support group of volunteers at Milby assist with the school’s recent distribution of laptops to students and its ongoing transition to digital learning. She hopes to expand the program to other HISD high schools in the future.

“Last October, I asked the school to invite community members to our parent night to discuss the district’s digital transformation,” she said. “I thought it made sense to create a support system within the Milby community to improve morale and make it a community affair.”

All of the volunteers at Milby are from Technology for All or Mission Milby Community Development Corporation, two nonprofit organizations located near the campus. They include retirees like Phil Clayton, who has worked for 35 years in computer technology in the business sector, followed by 20 years for nonprofits. “I had one of the first personal computers, an IBM-AT,” he said. “Fast-forward to 1999, when I retired. I discovered that I truly enjoy helping other people learn about technology.”

During their recent visit, Clayton and the other volunteers answered teachers’ questions about technology and offered support. Will Young, who graduated from Madison High School and ITT Technical Institute, said he enjoys giving back while he is looking for his dream job, “I’m a troubleshooter, so I can help out with just about anything when it comes to computers.”

Milby is one of 21 high school schools in phase two of the district’s one-to-one laptop distribution program and is also among a group of K-12 schools piloting the HUB this school year. Teachers are learning how use the HUB to collaboratewith each other and deliver lesson plans, homework, and tests to students. Next year, all teachers and schools will have access to the HUB.

 

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